Metabolism of xenobiotics can sometimes generate cyclic metabolites. Such metabolites are usually the result of intramolecular reactions occurring within a primary or secondary metabolite and this chemistry may lead to unexpected structures. Intramolecular chemistry is often driven by nucleophilic groups reacting with electrophilic atoms, often carbon, although radical processes also occur. Conjugation of xenobiotics or their metabolites with endogenous thiols, such as glutathione or cysteine, introduce a reactive amino group that can lead to the formation of cyclic structures. Less common than chemically driven cyclizations are enzymatically mediated ring-closures, although this may reflect our incomplete recognition of enzymatic involvement in this step of cyclic metabolite formation. While some cyclic metabolites are biologically inactive, others are biologically active. Thus, a cyclic metabolite may display desirable pharmacology, or, contribute to toxicology. When a cyclic metabolite is identified, it is important to consider the possibility that it is an artifact, i.e. metabonate, that was formed during processing of the sample, for example, through degradation or by chemical reactions with other components present in the matrix. From a medicinal chemistry perspective, a cyclic metabolite with a different chemical scaffold from the parent structure may lead to a new series of structurally novel, biologically active molecules with the same, or different, pharmacology from the parent. This review will cover a selection of cyclic metabolites from a mechanistic point of view, and when possible, discuss their biological relevance.